Genetic factor can cause blood clots
One in five patients diagnosed with blood clots (thrombosis) at Mafraq Hospital carries a genetic protein mutation known as Factor V Leiden.
The mutation is an abnormal version of a blood protein and is considered one of the most common genetic risk factors for blood clotting.
|Screening detects genetic protein mutation in almost one in five Mafraq Hospital Thrombosis Patients. — Supplied photos|
The patients were from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, the UAE, India and Pakistan with ages ranging from 20 to 72 years.
Of the 17 per cent who tested positive for Factor V Leiden, 82 per cent were between 22 and 35 years.
“Those testing positive for Factor V Leiden are at a higher risk for embolism (dislodged blood clots) and resulting complications, including stroke, heart attack and even death,” explained Dr Mohamed Yaman, Chief Medical Officer of Mafraq Hospital.
“By screening for this mutation, our expert team of hemaopathologists is able to identify at-risk patients and educate them before a serious problem occurs,” said Dr Anwar Sallam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the hospital.
A significant portion of the country’s population is at risk of suffering from blood clots, especially cancer patients, obese, pregnant women, post-operative patients and those taking hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives.
At-risk patients can, however, adopt a number of precautionary measures and practices to prevent clots before they develop, the statement said.
“When a patient tests positive for the Factor V Leiden gene... we recommend all patients maintain a healthy body weight, avoid smoking and excessive drinking, participate in physical activity and avoid immobility for extended periods of time. We also encourage all patients to advise their doctors and surgeons of their condition prior to surgery,” said Dr Amira Mahmoud Aly, Hemaopathologist at the hospital.
“If blood clots run in the family, or a patient has reason to believe he or she may be at risk, I would encourage them to consult their doctor,” she added.
Factor V Leiden was first discovered in the Netherlands in 1994, and a simple screening test is able to determine the presence or absence of the mutation, which, according to the World Health Organisation (Who), exists in roughly five per cent of the global population.
The test is now one of the most common blood tests performed by clinical laboratories across the world. Factor V Leiden positive patients may carry either one or two copies of the gene, which results in a seven-fold to 50-fold higher risk of clotting.